The Royal Veterinary College offers Residencies that are first class, world-renowned training programmes for veterinary specialisation. These Residencies are designed for qualified veterinary graduates who wish to specialise in specific disciplines.

  • Zoo Health Management,  relates to the health and welfare of captive wild animals.
  • This residency is run in conjunction with the Zoological Society of London (ZSL).
  • This residency is for three years and you will also be registered for a Masters in Veterinary Medicine – MVetMed

Dates for 2024 Zoo Health Management Residencies applications

What Qualifications Do I need?

You must be eligible for Membership of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS), this includes meeting the RCVS English language requirements.  You must organise and pay for this yourself. Applicants must be an MRCVS by the date the residency starts, and ideally by the date of application and interview.

Important: Candidates who already hold an MSc, PhD or other higher degree are not eligible for these two positions.  

You will also need to:

  • Hold a veterinary degree which is registrable by the RCVS and provide certificate and transcripts
  • Confirm you have the right to study in the UK
  • Students classified as "Overseas" with regards to tuition fees are very welcome to apply for the residency. We are keen to find the best candidates regardless of their nationality and have had occasional Overseas residents. Candidates should note that funding models for this programme are weighted towards "Home" fee candidates, so when candidates are equal, residencies will be offered to applicants eligible for "Home" fees. To help determine whether you would be eligible for "Home" fees please see the UKCISA's 'Who pays 'home' fees for higher education in England?' guide found here.

  • Have graduated from a European Association of Establishments for Veterinary Education (EAEVA) - approved veterinary school

  • Confirm how you meet the English language requirements, and if applicable submit your English language test results (see below)
  • And provide evidence of:
    • Work you have undertaken in a veterinary practice
    • Any postgraduate qualifications, if held
    • Your experience of research
    • Published papers or conference presentations
    • Previous visits to the RVC and/or ZSL
    • Completion of an internship programme or similar

English Language Requirement

You must be able to communicate clearly in English, both verbally and in writing. If you are not exempt from proving your English language proficiency, you must take an IELTS (Academic) test (or equivalent). 

We require an overall score of 7 in IELTS (Academic) with no component below 6.5. A certified copy of your IELTS test result should be submitted with your application. The test result must have been obtained within 2 years of the start date of the course.  Applications that do not satisfy these criteria will not be considered for shortlisting.

Please see a list of English qualifications we will accept as alternatives to IELTS.

Foreign language applicants are encouraged to practice as a veterinary surgeon in the UK for at least one year prior to application to the Residency programme. Applicants who do not meet the minimum proficiency requirements, cannot be considered.

What individual attributes do I need?

The programme is designed for highly motivated veterinary professionals who wish to specialise in a specific field whose goals include:

  • Advanced development of their veterinary skills
  • Experience and knowledge by working under supervision in a multi-disciplinary and internationally renowned zoological institution

What attributes do you need to demonstrate to join the programme?

  • Willingness to work hard
  • Highly developed organisational and time management skills
  • Ability to cope under pressure
  • A positive attitude at all times
  • Desire to take part in advancing veterinary science
  • Able to work with a range of people including veterinary students, senior clinicians and nursing and support staff
  • Excellent interpersonal skills with an ability to communicate well with other team members, clients, and referring veterinary surgeons
  • Have the patience to teach and guide veterinary undergraduate students

How to Apply

For details see How to Apply

Admissions Policy & Procedures

Further information on the recruitment procedure can be found here.

Further information on the Zoo Health Management specialty is available on the  ECZM website. 

If you have any further queries about the Residency in Zoo Health Management, please contact Amanda Guthrie ( at ZSL.

General Enquiries

General enquiries and questions about the application process should be directed to the Admissions Team on

Annual Leave

The annual leave entitlement is 25 days inclusive of bank holidays; however, timing needs to be coordinated with the hospital’s needs and fellow residents. Further details can be found in the Code of Practice (see below).


Constructive feedback will be provided both informally and formally throughout the programme. Your clinical and academic progress will be assessed on an individual basis. Each resident has a formal appraisal after the first and second year to track progress, and to ensure that all learning objectives are completed and requirements for board certification are met.  Please click here for Assessment and Award Regulations.

Code of Practice

All residents must adhere and abide by the Royal Veterinary College Code of Practice, which can be found under Essential Information in the Graduate School.


Current information on stipend can be found under Funding Options.


You may find these FAQs helpful.

Both programmes are co-organised by the Royal Veterinary College and Zoological Society of London. Residencies are open to veterinary graduates holding a degree registerable with the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons.   These are three-year post-graduate programmes involving a combination of taught components, supervised practical work and applied research. Residents will receive specialised training in the relevant discipline while working within the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) Wildlife Health Services Department and Institute of Zoology, as well as facilities at the RVC and with other external partners as relevant. Residents will be expected to prepare to sit the examination for membership of the European College of Zoological Medicine (ECZM) specialty boards. Residents will also be enrolled onto a Masters of Veterinary Medicine (MVetMed) programme.

Zoo Health Management (ZHM)  

Residents on the ZHM programme will receive specialist training in the health and welfare of captive wild animals and associated veterinary preventive and reactive medicine and pathological investigation. 

Residents on the ZHM programme will receive specialist training in the following areas:

  • Preventive medicine
  • Clinical Zoo Medicine
  • Restraint and Anaesthesia
  • Animal Management in the Zoological Collection
  • Comparative Pathology and Disease Investigation
  • Research and Academic Studies  

As well as undertaking the MVetMed course, modules from other MSc courses will be available including those in Wild Animal Health and Veterinary Epidemiology. Residents will gain further credits, and satisfy the requirements of the ECZM, through:

  • Structured practical clinical and pathological training as part of the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) Living Collections’ Veterinary Department rota
  • Learning about and contributing to animal transfers, disease screening and quarantine requirementsUndertaking research during allocated study time
  • Presenting this research in the form of publications in peer-reviewed journals and presentation at appropriate conferences
  • Organising journal club and clinical rounds for staff and other students

Prior experience required

In addition to the RVC criteria for eligibility, the European College of Zoological Medicine requires that the applicant should have undertaken broad training and experience in clinical veterinary medicine and surgery and their supporting disciplines, which must be attained by either:

  1.  Participation in an internship of 12 months duration, or
  2. Two years in general practice  

A highly competitive candidate will have clinical experience with a variety of animal taxa, experience with hypothesis driven research and publishing in peer reviewed journals, experience with public speaking and attending or presenting at relevant conferences, and a demonstrated interest in zoo/wild animal medicine.

The Living Collections of ZSL comprise over 800 species and some 20000 individuals, covering an extraordinary taxonomic array. The Scholar will experience a unique opportunity to contribute to the health and welfare of these animals, and to help advance the field of zoological medicine – and the health of such captive populations.

2024 Residencies

If you have any further queries about the Residency in Zoo Health Management please contact: Amanda Guthrie ZSL -

Further information on the Wildlife Population Health specialty is available on the ECZM website.

Tuition Fees

The tuition fees are as follows:

Year commencing course

Home Tuition Fees including Island Fees (Channel Islands & Isle of Man)

        International Fees




2023/24 £9,000


Tuition fee amounts are subject to increase each academic year.

Funding Options

Clinical Training Residencies

All Clinical Training Residencies are fully funded. 

  • As a Resident your tuition fees will be paid by the department that you are working in.
  • Residents are required to cover the cost of their own accommodation.
  • A stipend will be paid monthly in arrears. Currently the stipend is £24,500 per annum (subject to review).

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